Add this to the list of things gay members of the Armed Forces are allowed to do now that Don't Ask, Don't Tell is dead: kiss their partners, and upload the resulting photo to Facebook, causing everyone's heart to grow three sizes.
Top Marine officer Gen. James F. Amos has admitted that, despite his fears, the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell has not caused the destruction of the Marines.
Like many victories, you take the bad with the good. For the GLBT military folks who attended the first-ever gay military personnel convention, OutServe, in Las Vegas yesterday the good has been the non-stop support and "shrugs" they received after they came out and the opportunities that are now opening up for them.
Here's the lowlight from tonight's Fox News/YouTube Republican debate: People in the audience booed a soldier who asked the candidates if they'd work to reinstate "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." To top it off, Rick Santorum declared that repealing the ban gave openly gay servicemembers special rights. He said:
The Pentagon has announced that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" will be officially repealed on Tuesday, but Republicans are having a hard time accepting that the military won't be allowed to discriminate against homosexuals anymore. This week two Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee asked Defense Secretary Leon…
A three-judge panel ruled that the U.S. has to stop enforcing Don't Ask Don't Tell immediately, rather than the drawn-out procedure that was a condition for Congress repealing it. Last week, the president said it would take "weeks, not months."
Thanks to a backlash from congressmen (and four congresswomen), the Navy is backing away from its officer's memo saying that chaplains could perform gay marriages on bases as soon as Don't Ask, Don't Tell's repeal goes into effect.
West Point has declined to readmit Katherine Miller, who famously withdrew from the school rather than continue closeted. That's because no one knows when Don't Ask Don't Tell's repeal will take effect.
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" cost the U.S. "$200 million from 2004 to 2009," mostly due to the cost of replacing discharged soldiers, according to the Government Accountability Office. It's harder to put a pricetag on the cost to civil rights.
Now that the Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal is in motion, a new social networking site for gay servicemembers has come online. But it may still not be safe to post on it.
"We are not a nation that says, 'Don't ask, don't tell,'" said President Obama this morning, signing that policy's repeal. "We're a nation that says, 'Out of many we are one.'" He looked happy and relieved.
Was the Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal — 17 years of tireless activism in the making, following setback after setback — the easy part?
Today the Senate voted 63-33 to cut off debate on a bill that will end the ban on gays serving openly in the military. They'll hold a final vote at 3 p.m., and the repeal is expected to pass.
I'm writing letters to my loved ones in case I don't return from Afghanistan. I hope my partner never has to open his. If he does, it will ask him to tell who I was, because I couldn't.
The Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal again hangs in the balance: Today, the House votes on a standalone bill, but it's unclear what the Senate will do. Meanwhile, Dan Choi has been hospitalized, and the Marine Commandant is talking shit.